Church sells $1.2 million worth of prime real estate amid schism

Fort Lauderdale First Baptist Church
The First Baptist Church of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, has sold a first-class property valued at over $200,000 for “and other useful and valuable considerations.” | |

The leaders of Florida’s historic First Baptist Fort Lauderdale have given a prime portion of the Church’s downtown real estate valued at more than $1.2 million to New York City’s Naphtali Group for “$10 plus other benefits and value.” was accused of being discreetly sold for “a certain consideration.” is a global real estate development and investment company based in

The 0.179-acre site sold by the church is located at 501 NE 2nd St and has a fair market value of $1,223,430, according to sale documents prepared earlier this month and reviewed by The Christian Post.

The real estate deal is now at issue after more than a year-long standoff between hundreds of former members of the 115-year-old Southern Baptist Church and senior pastor James R. Welch and his team. It is

According to the Florida Bulldog, which first reported on the sale, the pastor was accused of attempting to loot the church’s seven-acre prime property, which was previously valued at more than $125 million.

Dissident church members were expelled over a year ago. The church board said they could be welcomed back into the church if they repented of their rebellion against their leaders and submitted to the recovery process.

The remediation process included “a minimum one-year waiting period, completion of the Department of Peacemaker’s Biblical Conflict Resolution Course, reconciliation with all persons harmed by the conduct, and reapplication of parishioners.” rice field.

The group rejected the offer and accepted the punishment. But they haven’t stopped advocating for church transparency and accountability.

James Welch, First Baptist Church of Fort Lauderdale
James R. Welch is senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. | |

In an Aug. 17 email from a group identified as a “concerned member” of the church shared with CP, they said Welch, who was hired as the church’s pastor in 2019, will arrive at the First Previously accused another church of exploiting for real estate. Baptist Fort Lauderdale.

“It’s worth noting that James Welch made a similar sale at a former church in New Orleans. NOLA assets worth more than $1 million were sold to James Welch’s close friend Tim Baudier. It was sold to an operating LLC for $100,” the group claimed.

“In 2019, Tim Baudier was brought into FBC as a ‘consultant.’ He was reportedly paid heavily, but the purpose of his consulting is unclear,” they continued. The potential sale of FBC assets has been a concern for members since James Welch arrived in 2019. Lack of financial transparency was also a serious concern.As of today, Mr. James Welch and the Board of Trustees have still refused to comply with the FBC’s governing documents by participating in the arbitration, which was ordered by the Broward County Court on May 19, 2022. .”

A call from CP to First Baptist Fort Lauderdale seeking clarification on the sale was not answered on Thursday. Romney C. Rogers, the attorney who drafted the bond for sale, was also not immediately available.

In a “pastor’s note” to members quoted by the Florida Bulldogs on Friday, Welch reportedly urged “biblical discretion” as discussions about the sale began to surface on social media.

“Just because someone did something wrong doesn’t mean you need to talk or discuss it with other people,” Welch wrote.

“Misinformation means that the story is generally false, and if you knew it beforehand, spreading it would not only be gossip, but slander,” he said. He added: “Misinformation is needlessly sharing the shameless truth about someone without thinking about how that information might affect that person.”

After facing a decline in numbers over the past two decades, First Baptist Fort Lauderdale has shown signs of growth in recent years. But since Welch’s arrival, dissidents said 2020 attendance has dropped from between 1,000 and 1,200 to nearly 750.

In January of that year, Welch also decided to permanently cancel the then 36-year-old church’s annual Christmas pageant, an award-winning Broadway-style show that tells the story of Christmas.

In 2019, it ran from late November to mid-December, with over 30,000 tickets sold.

According to the Florida Bulldog, the property sold includes a building that served as a workshop to create pageant props. A youth group also gathered at the building while the children played volleyball in the garden.

A source told the Florida Bulldog that at the church’s business meeting on July 31, when the land sale was decided, Welch said the building is currently being used for storage only.

“It’s just sitting there wasted. ‘They didn’t say anything about how much it would cost or who it would be sold to.

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *